Samsung’s wide-ranging consumer product portfolio expanded this January with the introduction of the company’s first portable projector. Despite its clunky name, Samsung The Freestyle – with “The” as an official part of the name – is ultra-portable and packed with smart features. It’s not cheap at US$899,, but its ease of use and intuitive software should satisfy those looking for an on-the-go movie machine. Design and hardware The Freestyle aims to break the mould of traditional projectors, as is clear from its design language: instead of bulky, blocky plastic, this comes in an aluminium, circular casing seven inches (17.8cm) tall and weighs 1.7 pounds (770 grams), making it small and light enough to fit into just about any bag. The projector is attached to a rotatable base that allows it to point at various angles, including straight up at the ceiling. It includes a USB-C port for power and a micro-HDMI port for connecting to other devices, like a computer, but it’s just as easy to connect wirelessly, as the projector supports Apple’s AirPlay and Android’s screen sharing. The iPhone SE 3 tested: powerful and future-proof, with an average camera There’s no internal storage or built-in battery, so you will need an external power source (a portable battery pack will suffice) and either an internet connection or another smart device to play content. A five-watt speaker system wraps around the circumference of the projector. Audio output is fine for quiet indoor use, but if you’re playing a film at a park for dozens of people you would need to pair it with a Bluetooth speaker. The remote control is like any modern smart TV remote. Software and features The Freestyle’s home screen is a basic smart TV UI with options to jump directly into apps like YouTube, Spotify or Netflix. You can install more apps via the built-in app store. You can navigate with the remote control or use Bixby or Alexa to launch specific apps or do specific tasks, such as “play Rolling Stones on Spotify”. Voice commands worked without issues. The biggest smart feature of the Freestyle is auto keystone and focus, which uses the device’s proximity sensors to calculate the distance and angle of the surface it’s projecting onto, and automatically frame the visual at the right size, angle and focus level. It worked mostly well during testing. If I pointed the Freestyle at a surface that was tilted, the picture adjusted to account for the tilt. The projected screen size can range from 30 inches to 100 inches. Performance The visuals projected by the Freestyle look great – provided you’re in a dark enough environment. Its maximum brightness is a bit below par compared to rival projectors from Chinese brands like XGIMI, so viewing content in brighter environments will result in washed-out colours. But in a dark room, the visuals offer vibrant colours and excellent contrast. Ultimately, it’s the ease of use that makes the Freestyle appealing. I don’t have to worry about fiddling with focus when I move the projector a couple of inches, and the visuals mostly line up well against my wall. The ability to mirror my MacBook screen, or play a video straight from my phone via wireless connection also improves the overall experience. Motorola’s Edge 30 Pro: performance, a vivid OLED display, OK cameras Conclusion If we go purely on technical prowess, there are cheaper projectors on the market that offer superior projection brightness, but the software experience isn’t as intuitive as with the Samsung. Most traditional projectors are also bulkier, and need some fiddling to get the picture just right, Samsung’s The Freestyle is as point-and-play as it gets. Its ease of use and portability give the Freestyle a lot of appeal.